Pixar’s president has started speculation that the upcoming fourth installment to the Toy Story franchise might not actually star either Buzz Lightyear or Woody.
During his discussion with Disney Latino, via Huffington Post, Jim Morris explained that Toy Story 4 won’t actually be a traditional sequel to Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3, before he then noted, “The third movie was over in a beautiful way and completed a trilogy.”
Morris continued his comments (which were translated from Google, so they might not be completely accurate) by noting that they “are putting together a very nice story. It is not a continuation of the end of the story of Toy Story 3. Temporarily it is, but it will be a love story. It will be a romantic comedy.”
He then added, “It will not make much focus on the interaction between the characters and children.” Morris then proclaimed, “I think it will be a very good movie.” This led fans to speculate that the fourth film might focus on different characters from the series, or even introduce new leads.
This isn’t the first time that Pixar has suggested that Toy Story 4 might be drastically different from what moviegoers had in mind. In fact, when John Lasseter, who directed the first two installments to the Toy Story franchise, announced the new film, he teased that it would be heading in a completely new direction.
“Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew [Stanton], Pete [Docter], Lee[Unkrich] and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie, and I wanted to direct it myself.”
Lasseter is, indeed, returning to the director’s chair for the fourth film of the franchise. He is co-writing it alongside Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, who were hired after Pixar and Lasseter were impressed with the pair’s writing on Jesse and Celeste Forever.
Woody and Buzz Lightyear, who have been voiced by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen throughout the franchise, are two of the most popular characters in modern movie history.
Toy Story 4 is currently touted for a July 16, 2017, release date. 1995’s Toy Story, 1999’s Toy Story 2, and 2010’s Toy Story 3 have grossed just under $2 billion, and the fourth installment is expected to add to this impressive haul — even if Woody and Buzz don’t feature in it.